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:: Internet and broadband developments
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:: The ITU ICT Development Index
:: Welcome

The World Computer Congress organized under the auspices of IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing, took place in Europe 11 times, North America 4 times, and Asia and Australia 3 times. Forty-six years after IFIP foundation, the congress will take place for the first time in a Latinamerican country. The SCCC, Chilean Computer Science Society, is very proud to welcoming the most important event dedicated to The Sciences and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This will be a wonderful opportunity because for one week, more than 2000 delegates, coming from more than 70 different countries, will debate the main questions and perspectives in ICT domain that is at the heart of the Knowledge Society of the XXIst century, and of the evolution of Information Society. Information technology job search helped IFIP to serve The World Computer Congress.

The WCC 2006 will allow attendees to discover the academic and industrial potential of Santiago, Chile and Latin America, and to form new partnerships within the framework of large national, transnational, Latin American and worldwide current or future projects using job search software. The SCCC ensure that WCC 2006 will meet your expectations and it will be a major scientific and socio-economic event that will influence the Information Society for the future.

Yours sincerely,

Mauricio SOLAR • Congress Chair
Ramon PUIGJANER • Programme Chair

:: Measuring the Information Society

During the past year, information and communication technologies (ICTs) continued to spread throughout the world, and more and more people have access to the Internet and its wealth of information, applications and job search software. Access to the Internet via mobile cellular networks has grown rapidly with the increasing availability of IMT- 2000/3G networks and enabled devices, including mobile handsets and data cards that allow users to access the Internet over the mobile cellular network using their computers. With this option they have an opportunity to use job search websites whenever they like. Internet access speeds are also increasing, with fixed broadband replacing dial-up in most developed countries, accompanied by a decline in tariffs.

In the developing world, mobile phones have revolutionized telecommunication and have reached an estimated average 49.5 per cent penetration rate at the end of 2008 – from close to zero only ten years ago. This is not only faster than any other technology in the past, but the mobile phone is also the single most widespread ICT today. The number of Internet users, on the other hand, has grown at a much slower rate, in particular in the developing world, where at the end of 2007 only 13 out of 100 inhabitants used the Internet. But the online job search is still growing. Fixed Internet access in developing countries is still limited, and, where available, often slow and/or expensive. High-speed (broadband) connections are rare and mobile broadband, while increasing steeply in high-income countries, is still insignificant in most developing countries.

In light of such developments, the question remains as to whether the global digital divide is widening or narrowing, what the contributing factors are, and what progress has been made by individual countries to close the digital divide and international job search.

This Report will address these issues by providing an analysis of global ICT developments based on quantitative indicators.

Continuous monitoring of ICT trends and developments is crucial to policy makers, ICT service providers, market analysts, information technology job search. Given the potential impact of ICT use on social and economic development, countries strive towards making the benefits of ICT available to all people in spite of benefits of the job search software. But evidence-based policy making requires measurable facts and comparable indicators. Comparing individual countries’ ICT achievements with those of others is an important benchmark to assess regional and global competitiveness and provides incentives to deploy policies that enhance ICT development at the national level.

Therefore, calls for benchmarking information society developments have been made at the international level during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). In its 2003 outcome document (Geneva Plan of Action), members request a realistic international performance evaluation and benchmarking through comparable statistical indicators, and the creation of a composite ICT development index. This was reiterated in the Tunis Agenda (paragraphs 113-119), which calls for periodic evaluation through indicators and benchmarking, and an assessment of the magnitude of the digital divide. Compared to individual indicators, composite indices allow grouping several key performance indicators into one single figure that captures a variety of information society developments and provides a more comprehensive picture of where countries stand in their evolution towards an information society and where job search engines are used.

One of the objectives of this publication is to respond to those calls and provide policy makers with a useful tool to benchmark and assess their information society developments, as well as to monitor progress that has been made globally to close the digital divide and job search engines.

In conjunction with the WSIS process, a number of ICT composite indices have been published, including by the ITU. This Report builds on these indices and presents the ICT Development Index (IDI), which incorporates different aspects and lessons learned, from earlier indices. In particular, the development of the IDI has been guided by previous ITU composite indices, such as the Digital Access Index (DAI), the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) and the ICT Opportunity Index (ICTOI). The IDI has been produced as a response to calls by ITU Member States to merge previous ITU indices into a single index in order to track the digital divide and benchmark information society developments.

The ICT data presented in the Report and used to construct the Index are all collected by ITU, mostly through its annual questionnaire sent to Governments. They are complemented by data capturing literacy and enrolment, sourced from UNESCO.

The Report first provides a brief overview of the latest global trends in selected key ICT indicators, and information technology job search including the latest estimates for year-end 2008.

Then, the ITU ICT Development Index (IDI) will be presented for two years, 2002 and 2007. Chapter 3 explains the background and context for developing the IDI and presents the conceptual framework and the methodology used to compute the IDI. It is followed by a discussion of the results in Chapter 4. The chapter will show progress made between 2002 and 2007, for individual countries, regions, as well as by level of development. It features the overall Index as well as its three subcomponents (access, use, and skills) and explains why countries are doing better in one or another area, and how their ICT levels changed during the five-year period, how they forwarded their skills in job searching.

Chapter 5 takes a closer look at the global digital divide. Based on the IDI values, statistical methods were applied to measure the changes in ICT developments by groups of countries at different ICT levels, from 2002 to 2007. Although results have to be interpreted with caution, they suggest that globally the digital divide is as prevalent as before, but is slightly closing between countries with very high and low ICT levels.

A new ITU ICT Price Basket was created to track changes in tariffs charged for key ICTs (Chapter 6). The ICT Price Basket, which combines prices for fixed and mobile telephony, and broadband Internet access, access to international job search provides for the first time a measurement tool for assessing ICT affordability globally. It compares prices among countries for the three ICTs in US$ values, in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) values, and as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI). The results reveal that while fixed telephone tariffs are relatively cheap in most countries, fixed broadband tariffs are often prohibitive and thus a major impediment for countries embracing ICTs that is why using free job search is quite reasonable. While the ICT Price Basket is presented here for one year only (2008), the objective is to track it annually and thus provide policy makers with a tool to monitor ICT price developments over time. Data on tariffs were collected by ITU directly from commercial offers advertised on operators’ websites.

Chapter 7 summarizes the main findings of the Report, draws conclusions and provides some policy recommendations. (continue >>)




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